Thanks to Miles for Blightly for letting me know that Club Carlson is re-categorizing the hotel categories for 329 of their properties. The award structure is staying the same, but out of all the hotels changing about two-thirds of them are going up a category (or two!), while only about one-third are going down a category. Additionally, MANY properties are moving up to the newly introduced (as of last year) category 7 which requires 70,000 points for a free night! This change is happening on June 1, 2015 which coincides exactly with the removal of the free night benefit from the Club Carlson credit card.
You can check all of the categories going up or down a category here, but here is a recap of all the hotels moving to the category 7 level. This is a massive jump where some are currently a category 4 (38,000 points/night), a category 5 (44,000 points/night), or a category 6 (50,000 points/night).
Properties going up to a category 7 (all are currently a category 6 unless otherwise noted):
- Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa – no idea what is going on with this property as it is in the process of being sold!
- Radisson Hotel Barra, Rio de Janeiro
- Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
- Radisson Blu Minneapolis – currently a category 5
- Radisson Blu Mall of America – currently a category 5
- Radisson Martinique on Broadway
- Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek
- The Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina – currently a category 5
- Radisson Blu Style Hotel, Vienna
- The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa, Manama
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Lucerne
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Basel
- Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Ajaccio Bay
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Paris-Boulogne
- Radisson Blu Resort, Arc 1950
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel – currently a category 5
- Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf Hotel
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Sussex Hotel
- Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London
- Park Plaza Victoria London
- Park Plaza County Hall London
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire Hotel
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel
- Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
- Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Leicester Square Hotel
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens
- Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik – currently a category 5
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait – currently a category 4
- Radisson Hotel, Astana
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Maputo
- Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos VI.
- Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam
- Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel Oslo
- Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil
- Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, Oslo Gardermoen
- Radisson Blu Hotel Norge, Bergen
- Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo
- Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel, Stavanger
- Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen
- Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger
- Radisson Royal Hotel, St. Petersburg
- Radisson Resort, Zavidovo – currently a category 5
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh
- Radisson Blu Royal Suite Hotel, Jeddah
- Radisson Blu SkyCity Hotel, Stockholm-Arlanda
- Radisson Blu Royal Viking Hotel, Stockholm
- Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Stockholm
- Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm
- Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown – currently a category 5
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Pera
- Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul
- Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
If you counted the list above, you’d see that 67 hotels are now going up to a category 7 hotel. Just to give some comparison, there are currently only 11 hotels in that top category 7 tier. That means come June 1, this level will go from 11 hotels to 78 hotels which is absolutely ridiculous.
While I understand annual category revamps, this one is pretty major. This combined with the credit card benefit changes really makes me not so happy with Club Carlson. Honestly, once I redeem all my points I will be done with this program. Credit card will be cancelled and no more points will be earned. I am now re-evaluating whether or not the Club Carlson card is still worth it.
About 4-5 years ago, this program invested a lot of money to get their name out there. They ran unbelievable offers where you could earn 50,000 points after just 1 stay. They did this multiple times, you could take advantage under multiple accounts (and then combine point balances), and then you could sign up for their lucrative credit card offering up to 85,000 points, earn a ton of points with manufactured spend, and then get your second night free on all hotel redemptions. I personally believe they gave out way too many points and are now cutting back.
I personally recommend getting all your hotel stays reserved by May 31, 2015. As long as you make your reservation by this date you will be locked into the current category and be able to take advantage of the second night free as long as you have the Club Carlson credit card. Some hotels even allow you to make award reservations well into 2018, so make sure to look ahead! Unfortunately though, if you need to change your reservation for a future date, you will have to redeem more points and not get the 2nd night free benefit.
This was not a change I was hoping to wake up to this morning! What are your thoughts? Will you be giving up on the program?